Similar to our list of the Top 50 Online Christian Colleges and Universities 2016, this ranking features the best online undergraduate programs among Bible Colleges. The primary difference between a Christian liberal arts university and a Bible college is the main focus and the range of academic studies offered. For example, Christian liberal arts colleges and universities, like their secular equivalent, emphasize a broad scope of academics whereas a Bible school’s main focus lies on biblical studies and ministry training. Each type of institution is subject to accreditation (from different oversight bodies, of course), and each type has benefits and trade-offs. Highlighted here are Bible Colleges with some of the best online degree options available. Each of these degrees can be completed 100% online with no on-campus requirements, making them an extremely convenient and flexible option, especially for individuals who are already busy managing work and family life, as well as those who wish to earn their degree without leaving active ministry.
The methodology behind this ranking began with schools that are members of The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), or accredited members of The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). Theological affiliates of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) were also considered. We then ranked each school using the number of fully online undergraduate degree programs and the average tuition cost. Each category received a standardized score and were weighted equally. These standardized scores were then summed to produce this ranking.
Shasta Bible College and Graduate School
Shasta Bible College and Graduate School (SBC), located in Redding California, is an accredited four –year Baptist institution. SBC offers three online baccalaureate degrees in the areas of Bible & Theology; Christian Teacher Education; and Christian Professional Studies with a variety of concentration options. SBC’s online courses are offered via Populi, the school’s student information system. Designed for adults balancing work, family, and school, SBC’s distance education program provides busy students with a quality education that is both flexible and affordable. Semesters last fifteen weeks with an additional week set aside for final exams. SBC is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.
The King’s University (TKU) is located in South Lake, Texas and is partnered with Gateway Church in Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. TKU offers a total of four online bachelor degree programs in the areas of General Christian Studies; Christian Ministries; Biblical Studies; and Biblical Counseling. TKU’s online degree programs are designed to offer non-traditional students with a convenient, flexible option for higher learning. TKU follows a traditional semester-based schedule (Fall, Spring, and Summer) and courses are taught over a seven-week session. TKU is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and a member of the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
Bethesda University, located in Anaheim, California, was established in 1976 by Dr. David Yonggi Cho for the purpose of building up leaders with a vision for world missions. Accredited by the BPPE (a division of the California Department of Education), the Association for Biblical Higher Education and the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Bethesda offers a single online baccalaureate degree. Bethesda’s online Bachelor of Arts in Religion is available with majors in the areas of Biblical Studies; Pastoral Ministry; and Christian Education, allowing students to focus their studies on an area of study that will best prepare them for a specific ministry.
Located in Hampton, Virginia, Bethel College is a non-profit, private institution of higher education, accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Bethel offers a single online baccalaureate, a Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries with the option for three different concentrations in the areas of Ministerial Leadership; Biblical Studies; and Missions. Earned entirely online, Bethel Online uses the Edvance360 delivery platform to host their degree program. Courses are asynchronous, meaning that there are no set times when a student is expected to be online and students have the freedom to access and complete coursework on their own schedules each week.
Crossroads Bible College
Crossroads Bible College (CBC), located in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a private undergraduate, Bible college. CBC is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education and offers a total of four online Bachelor of Science degrees in the areas of Urban Leadership; Biblical Counseling & Discipleship; Leadership & Ministry; and Management & Ethics. Coursework for CBC’s online degrees may be completed entirely at the student’s home or office and each course can be completed in just eight weeks. Regular contact with instructors are maintained throughout the program and online forums provide students with the opportunity to interact with their fellow classmates.
Carolina College of Biblical Studies
Carolina College of Biblical Studies (CCBS) is a private, non-denominational Bible college located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, CCBS offers two online baccalaureate degrees in the areas of Biblical Studies and Leadership & Ministry. Designed to offer an affordable, flexible education option to adult learners, each of CCBC’s online courses are five weeks long and offered in an accelerated program format. Class sizes are kept small (average student-to-teacher ratio is 15 to 1), allowing professors to devote personal attention to each student. In the last five years, over 80% of CCCBS Biblical Studies graduates have been employed within a local church at time of graduation.
Luther Rice College and Seminary
Located in Lithonia, Georgia, Luther Rice College and Seminary (LRC) is a private, Baptist-affiliated institution established in 1962. Accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education, all of LRC’s degree programs are offered on-campus and online, including the college’s sole baccalaureate degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with concentrations available in Biblical Counseling; Christian Worldview; and Ministry. LRC has been offering online degree programs for over 10 years and their tuition costs have been ranked in the lowest 10% by the U.S. Department of Education. Courses are asynchronous, giving students flexibility to set their own schedule and access class materials at their convenience.
Paul Quinn College
Paul Quinn College (PQC), located just south of downtown Dallas, Texas, is a private Christian college affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The oldest historically black college west of the Mississippi River, PQC was named the “2011 HBCU of the Year” by HBCU Digest. Accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, PQC offers an online Bachelor Degree completion program with specializations in the areas of Entrepreneurship and Management. Offering both convenience and flexibility, online courses may be scheduled taken at the student’s own pace with three start dates to choose from in May, August, or October.
Morthland College (MC), located in West Frankfort, Illinois, is a private, Classical Christian liberal arts institution. Founded in 2009 by Dr. Tim Morthland and first opened in 2011 as a liberal arts college, the small coeducational school is still in its growing stage with approximately 50 students currently enrolled. MC is an accredited member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and offers a total of four online bachelor degree programs in the areas of Biblical Studies; Classics; Business Administration; and Computer Information Systems. Designed for busy adults balancing personal life, work, and school, MC’s online courses last approximately eight weeks long.
Lancaster Bible College
Located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Lancaster Bible College (LBC) is a private, non-denominational institution established in 1933 for the purpose of educating students to “think and live a biblical worldview”. LBC is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.LBC offers five online baccalaureate degree programs in the areas of Bible (available as a Bachelor of Arts or Science); Biblical Studies; Business Administration; and Human Services. A convenient and flexible options, LBC’s online class sizes are kept small, with an average of 12 to 14 students per course. Interaction between classmates and professors is highly encouraged and LBC expects all of its professors to take the time to deeply invest in their students.
College of Biblical Studies - Houston
Located in Houston, Texas, the College of Biblical Studies-Houston (CBS) is a private, nondenominational evangelical Bible college established in 1979. CBS is accredited by both the Association for Biblical Higher Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and offers a total of two online baccalaureate degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Counseling. Following the cohort model, where students progress through the program together as part of a group, CBS’s online courses are designed especially for adult learners and are offered in an accelerated format, with each course lasting a total of five weeks.
Located in San Diego, California, Horizon University is a comprehensive Christian institution established in 1993 for the purpose of equipping, training, and teaching students in preparation for a career in business and ministry. Horizon is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, and the school offers two online bachelor degree programs in the areas of Organizational Leadership and Leadership in Ministry. Offered in an accelerated format, Horizon’s all-online learning model allows students to complete their degrees in a timely manner. Courses last approximately six weeks long and are scheduled so that students take only one course over each six-week period, allowing them to complete a total of four courses each semester during the academic year.
Central Christian College of the Bible
Central Christian College of the Bible (CCCB), of Moberly, Missouri, is a four-year college founded in 1957 and supported by the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. CCCB is accredited by the Association for Biblical Education and offers two online bachelor degree programs – Bachelor of Religious Studies (Christian Leadership) and Bachelor of Science in Bible. Designed for working adults, students in remote areas, or anyone looking for a flexible and convenient option for pursuing advanced education, CCCB’s online courses last eight weeks and are asynchronous, allowing students to access the material at any time. Approximately 15 – 20 hours are required for class work each week, with time given to reading assignments, video/audio lectures, discussion forums, exams, and written assignments.
Apex School of Theology
Located in Durham, North Carolina, Apex School of Theology (ASOT) was established in 1995 by the Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Perkins of Apex First Baptist Church. Accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), ASOT offers multiple online degree programs including, a Bachelor of Theology. Through its distance education program, ASOT’s Bachelor of Theology can be earned entirely online with coursework completed at the student’s convenience. Each online course offers students the same level of quality in academics as on campus students receive. Dedicated to offering affordable education to all students, faculty and staff at ASOT serve at minimal stipend for the purpose of giving back to the community.
Piedmont International University
Piedmont International University (PIU), a private bible college founded in 1945, is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The university is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and currently offers a total of four online bachelor degree programs in Bible; Bible for College Graduates; Sign Language Interpretation; and Christian Ministries with a variety of undergraduate minor options. PIU’s academic courses are purposefully designed to give students a “well-rounded, biblical, general, and professional education” and the university’s online degree offerings provide a flexible and convenient option for non-traditional students to earn their degree from the comfort of their own home or office.
Grace College of Divinity
Grace College of Divinity (formerly Grace Leadership Institute) is a biblical higher education institution located in Fayetteville, North Carolina and “dedicated to preparing emerging leaders to change the world by advancing the Kingdom of God”. Founded in the fall of 2000, Grace College of Divinity (GCD) is accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education and offers a single online baccalaureate degree program: Bachelor of Divinity. A four-year study program, GCD’s Bachelor of Divinity degree is designed for students with the desire to serve in a place of leadership within the local church. A 96 credit hour program, 24 credit hours of elective study, relevant to leadership and educational ministries, is required.
Moody Bible Institute
Established in 1886 by evangelist Dwight L. Moody, Moody Bible Institute (MBI) is located in the Near North Side of Chicago, Illinois. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission as well as the Association for Biblical Higher Education, MBI offers several online degree programs including Bachelor of Science degrees in the areas of Biblical Studies; Ministry Leadership; Theological Studies; and Theology and Cultural Engagement. Courses last eight weeks and are designed to challenge without overwhelming the student. Courses consist of reading assignments, projects and discussion board posts where classmates and professors are able to interact with one another. All courses are self-paced in order to offer convenience and flexibility.
Virginia Baptist College
Virginia Baptist College (VBC) is a private, Christian institution located in Fredericksburg, Virginia formerly known as Berean Baptist Institute. VBC is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and offers a variety of online degree programs, including a Bachelor of Christian Education and a Bachelor of Ministry with minors available in English, History, Church Office Management, and Youth Ministries. A flexible option, particularly geared towards working adults seeking to advance their education and careers, in-class sessions are recorded and posted online for students to view at their convenience. Weekly assignments are given at each class with a time period allotted for students to complete and submit their work.
Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, Johnson University (formerly Johnson Bible College) is a private, Christian college established in 1893 and affiliated with the Restoration movement. Johnson University (JU) is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as well as the Association for Biblical Higher Education. JU offers a variety of online degrees including four baccalaureate programs in the areas of Business Administration; Ministry Leadership; Intercultural Studies; and Pastoral Care & Counseling. A leader in distance education for over one hundred years, JU’s online students can be assured of receiving quality education that will both fit their schedules and is affordable.
Known primarily for its ministry degrees, Barclay College, named after the first Quaker theologian, is located in Haviland, Kansas and is affiliated with the Religious Society of Friends. The four-year private college was established in 1917 and is accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education. Barclay College offers five online baccalaureate degree programs in the areas of Biblical Studies; Business Management; Christian Ministry Leadership; Elementary Education K-6; and Psychology. Offered in a flexible and convenient format, Barclay College is committed to keeping costs low for students enrolled both on campus and online and most students are eligible to receive financial aid.
Hobe Sound Bible College
Hobe Sound Bible College is a private, Christian institution of higher education located in Hobe Sound, Florida. Established in 1960 by a Wesleyan Methodist minister as part of the conservative holiness movement, Hobe is an independent four-year college. Hobe offers a total of three online undergraduate degree programs – a Bachelor of Arts in Ministerial Studies; Bachelor in Education; and a Bachelor of Arts in Counseling. Hobe’s online courses typically last seven weeks with the first six weeks focusing on course content and the last week set aside for final projects and exams. Final exams are conducted using a proctor (often times a pastor, church leader, librarian, etc) at the end of each course. All textbooks and materials are included in the cost of the course.
Faith Evangelical College and Seminary
Faith Evangelical College & Seminary is located in Tacoma, Washington and has a total enrollment of approximately 400 students. Originally established as Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary in 1969 by the Lutherans Alert-National (LAN), an organization committed to biblical inerrancy. Today, Faith functions as an interdenominational education institution for the purpose of serving the greater evangelical community; students are encouraged, however, to affiliate themselves with a denomination, synod, or independent association that upholds the inerrancy of Scripture. Accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Faith offers a total of three online Bachelor of Arts degrees in the areas of Leadership; Religion; and Business.
Located in San Francisco, California, Olivet University is a private, Christian institution of biblical higher education. Established in 2000, Olivet is affiliated with the Evangelical Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in America and is accredited through the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Olivet offers a total of five online bachelor degree programs in the areas of Theology; Journalism; Graphic Design; Information Technology; and Business. Olivet’s online degree programs are offered through the Course Management System, named “MyOlivet”, and utilizes the Moodle learning management systems. Each online class is taught by experienced and qualified faculty and courses have the same descriptions and student learning outcomes as Olivet’s residential degree programs.
Ecclesia College is a private, four-year institution located in Springdale, Arkansas, established in 1975 and accredited through the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Ecclesia offers a variety of online programs and courses, including seven online baccalaureate degrees in the areas of Leadership; Biblical Studies; Christian Leadership; Business Administration; Management; Marketing; and Psychology & Counseling. Classes are taught by experienced faculty members who also teach on-campus, allowing online students to receive the same level of quality education as residential students. Most courses last a total of eight weeks and are taught asynchronously so that students may access each class at any time, on their own schedule.
Ohio Christian University
Ohio Christian University (OCU), located in Circleville, Ohio, is a private institution of higher education affiliated with the Churches of Christ in Christian Union. Founded in 1948, the university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association for Biblical Higher Education. OCU offers a total of ten online undergraduate degrees, including Bachelor of Arts in Nursing; Business; Interdisciplinary Studies; Leadership & Ministry; Psychology and more. An affordable, flexible and convenient option, OCU’s online degrees are designed especially for busy adults looking to advance their education and careers. As a non-profit organization, OCU is committed to making tuition affordable and most students qualify for multiple financial aid programs.